Six games of Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) Division 2 basketball took place at Queen Margaret College, Wellington at the weekend and it was the local teams that prospered. 

Capital Swish went unbeaten winning all three games while Wellington recorded two victories. South Canterbury Stealers, new to the WBC this season, are still searching for their first win after going down to McAlpines M10 MEGA North Canterbury Spirit in the all Canterbury clash.

Saturday June 15 – South Canterbury Stealers 30 Capital Swish 65

In the opening game on Saturday the Swish got off to a quick start establishing a 22-6 lead in the opening quarter – six points from the game’s leading scorer Letava Whippy (14 points) setting the tone.

Maia Watene (13 points) was also a key performer as Capital enjoyed scoring contributions from 10 players as they eased to a 55-15 three-quarter time lead.

Led by 10 points from Dallas Frederikson the Stealers had the satisfaction of winning the final quarter 15-10.

Whippy, the league’s leading scorer, became the first WBC Division 2 player to tally 100 points for the season.

Saturday June 15 – McAlpines M10 MEGA North Canterbury Spirit 40 Wellington 59

In the clash of the two unbeaten teams it was Wellington that prevailed beating the Spirit 59-40. The hosts built on a 12-0 opening salvo to go on and win every quarter as the Spirit struggled to get their offence firing.

University of Colorado forward Charlotte Whittaker (11 points and 9 rebounds) was the only consistent scoring threat for the Spirit with Esra McGoldrick and Amy West well contained by the Wellington defence that forced 29 turnovers and won the rebounding count 51-44.

Paris Lokotui (16 points), Grace Hunter (10 points) and Emilina Motu (9 points) each made strong contributions for Wellington in a fine all-round team performance.

Saturday June 15 – McAlpines M10 MEGA North Canterbury Spirit 51 Capital Swish 61

Maia Watene led all scorers with 20 points as the Swish defeated the Spirit 61-51.

The Spirit led at half-time 31-25 but that lead evaporated in the third quarter as Letava Whippy (17 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists) and Arielle Parai (11 points), along with Watene, inspired a Swish comeback and a 42-38 advantage with ten minutes to play.

Hannah Crabtree scored 7 points for the Spirit in the final spell but Morgan Ili and Aliyah Dunn (11 rebounds and 7 blocks) helped Swish preserve their lead.

Charlotte Whittaker (11 points and 9 rebounds) led the Spirit effort

Sunday June 16 – South Canterbury Stealers 42 Wellington 109

Tall Ferns 3X3 representative Tanaka Gapare returned to the Wellington line up with good effect scoring 15 points and adding 7 rebounds as Wellington eased past the Stealers 109-42 in the fourth and final game on Saturday.

Wellington also enjoyed strong performances from Grace Hunter (19 points and 10 rebounds), Renee Savai’inaea (15 points) and Grace Vaofusi (11 points). There was also ten points from the season’s leading scorer Leah Mafua.

Dallas Frederikson was outstanding in a losing cause scoring 19 points for the Stealers but other than Bailey Weston’s six points the Cantabrians lacked the required scoring power to trouble Wellington.

Sunday June 16 – McAlpines M10 MEGA North Canterbury Spirit 72 South Canterbury Stealers 43

Only two points separated the teams after a tight opening quarter but thereafter the Spirit steadily pulled away to record a convincing win against their Canterbury rivals on Sunday morning.

As expected Dallas Frederikson (13 points) and Jorja Miller were the leading scorers for the Stealers but their combined 20 points weren’t enough to trouble the Spirit.

Kendal Hastie knocked down three triples for the Spirit who also had four players register double figures. Charlotte Whittaker led the way with 15 points as Tiana Placid (14 points), Esra McGoldrick (13 points) and Amy West (10 points) also made telling contributions.

Sunday June 16 – Capital Swish 82 Wellington 56

Capital Swish completed an unbeaten weekend beating Wellington 82-56, a victory that carried them to the top of the WBC Division 2 standings.

A solid opening quarter from the Swish in which they outscored their local rivals 21-11 set the foundation for the win. After that, paced by Letava Whippy (28 points), Swish were never headed.

Morgan Ili, Maia Watene and Arielle Parai scored 13, 12 and 11 points respectively with a 23-10 third quarter confirming the victory.

For Wellington Leah Mafua, due to leave for her NCAA Division 1 basketball scholarship at Washington State University in the coming weeks, top scored with 17 points and

Leah Mafua, Grace Hunter and Renee Savai’inaea chipped in with 9 points apiece.

Article by Mike Lacey

WBC Division 2 Standings

  • 5-1 Wellington, Capital Swish
  • 4-2McAlpines M10 MEGA North Canterbury Spirit
  • 3-2 Harbour Zephyr
  • 2-4 Rotorua Lady Geysers
  • 1-4 Northland Phoenix
  • 0-6 South Canterbury Stealers

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  • Watch selected 2019 Women’s Basketball Championship games through livestream on BBNZ’s Facebook @basketballNZ hashtag #NZWBC or website www.nz.basketball/tv.
  • Livestream games for round 6 was Harbour Breeze vs Auckland Dream AND Waikato Wizards vs Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats.

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Scott Richardson